Why have children?

Discussions on behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, neurology, endocrinology, game theory, etc.

Re: Why have children?

Postby EasternWind on August 18th, 2016, 9:10 pm 

Dave_Oblad: That's why I thought we need a better definition of terms here. I think based on your argument, the best life anyone can have is to start on a drug like heroin and don't stop until dead. In fact, it is best to just intentionally do an overdose because one would have all the "happiness" possible, zero stress and responsibility and end it all on a fantastic note. Why bother going to work? Why bother cleaning the place? Why even bother chewing food? Isn't that a lot of hassle?LOL
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Re: Why have children?

Postby Braininvat on August 18th, 2016, 9:17 pm 

"Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your children."

It really so depends on the person. Many people in developed countries now live in a culture where children are no longer held to provide old age security (see "demographic shift") or some nebulous kind of immortality. But, if you really love children and have a nurturing personality, then maybe there is overall, net happiness in having or adopting children. Someone who finds those responsibilities too stressful, however, may be better off not having children. I know many decent smart people who do just fine as aunts/uncles or mentors, and they are helping raise the next generation in a way that makes them happy. Pressure to further your own bloodline should be seen for the archaic and repressive nonsense that it is.

I had two kids. I don't regret them one bit, but can certainly imagine a "road not taken" where the spouse and I led different and happy lives, parenting only "brainchildren." With fewer gray hairs on my head. And maybe more mentoring, tutoring, etc. because I am fond of the young'uns.

E. Wind makes a good point about having mountains to climb, difficult achievement, and so on, but the mountains don't have to be children.
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Re: Why have children?

Postby Athena on August 19th, 2016, 1:49 pm 

EasternWind » August 18th, 2016, 7:10 pm wrote:Dave_Oblad: That's why I thought we need a better definition of terms here. I think based on your argument, the best life anyone can have is to start on a drug like heroin and don't stop until dead. In fact, it is best to just intentionally do an overdose because one would have all the "happiness" possible, zero stress and responsibility and end it all on a fantastic note. Why bother going to work? Why bother cleaning the place? Why even bother chewing food? Isn't that a lot of hassle?LOL



Many years ago I did Est training in California. It was suggested one choice would be having an electrode planted in the brain that would continually excite the site of pleasure. Somehow, no matter how good that might feel, it is not my idea of a good life.

I am also not sure I want to go to heaven and enjoy perfection for eternity. I am afraid that might get boring.

On the other hand, my war strategy is to send a troop of very young children into the enemies camp. I think that might lead to a surrender because children can be very annoying, and this is assuming the enemy would feel obliged to care for the children. Loving parent or not, people are usually glad when the children go to bed.
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Re: Why have children?

Postby Athena on August 19th, 2016, 1:58 pm 

Braininvat » August 18th, 2016, 7:17 pm wrote:"Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your children."

It really so depends on the person. Many people in developed countries now live in a culture where children are no longer held to provide old age security (see "demographic shift") or some nebulous kind of immortality. But, if you really love children and have a nurturing personality, then maybe there is overall, net happiness in having or adopting children. Someone who finds those responsibilities too stressful, however, may be better off not having children. I know many decent smart people who do just fine as aunts/uncles or mentors, and they are helping raise the next generation in a way that makes them happy. Pressure to further your own bloodline should be seen for the archaic and repressive nonsense that it is.

I had two kids. I don't regret them one bit, but can certainly imagine a "road not taken" where the spouse and I led different and happy lives, parenting only "brainchildren." With fewer gray hairs on my head. And maybe more mentoring, tutoring, etc. because I am fond of the young'uns.

E. Wind makes a good point about having mountains to climb, difficult achievement, and so on, but the mountains don't have to be children.


I suspect many of us have a big need to give of ourselves and little children are open receivers. This desire to give and a child's willingness to receive can motivate our desire to be with children. There are so many things we might want to learn in order to be better givers, and if we enjoy learning, this increases the motivation to be with children. They give us a reason to wake up and make an effort.

At least for me, children are very motivating, and they push us to think of the future. I am afraid without children, humanity may not have many saving qualities.
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